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Degalan binders represent an excellent solution for heat sealing applications in the packaging indus

Degalan binders represent an excellent solution for heat sealing applications in the packaging indus



Packaging solutions to suit preferences

Continuous product innovation is allowing Germany based Evonik, a world leader in specialty chemicals, to provide technology-tailored cutting edge products for the packaging industry, finds Pummy Kaul

August 2019

Evonik, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has said its continuous product innovation is allowing it to provide technology-tailored cutting edge products for the packaging industry.

The German company which offers several solutions to the packaging industry including heat sealing, aseptic packaging, food cans protection, and printing on food packaging, has said it is constantly developing its products to fall in line with the new market trends and to meet the requirements of the industry.

Evonik packaging experts see increasing shift towards small sized (to-go) products that are very prevalent in large cities since they cater to the increasingly fast-paced individual lifestyle. Moreover, consumers demand more fresh and healthy food and beverage products with no preservatives, new flavours and concepts in beverages, and convenient and fancy shaped packaging.

There are several key trends in the packaging industry globally that are also applicable to the Middle East, pointed out Oliver Kossanyi, marketing manager, Evonik Coating & Adhesive Resins.

Evonik’s Oxteril product range for aseptic packaging keeps trendy carton drinks fresh for longer

Evonik’s Oxteril product range for aseptic packaging keeps trendy carton drinks fresh for longer

“Long shelf life is another key trend in the beverage packaging sector since it allows suppliers to store the products for longer while there is a global increase in the demand for sustainable packaging,” Kossanyi told the Gulf Industry in an exclusive interview.

Towards this, one of the new features rolled out in 2018 by the company is the increased product shelf life from one to two years for Evonik’s Oxteril product range for aseptic packaging.

“This feature is particularly interesting for the regional packaging industry since it allows manufacturers to keep stock for longer and compensate for time spent in the importing process. Oxteril product range is particularly important for the disinfection of the packaging of dairy and juice beverages,” Amro Raslan, business manager, Egypt, Levant and GCC, Evonik Active Oxygens explained.

Another new development for the same product range is the introduction of Oxteril Spray S, a very pure grade that leaves almost no residues on the packaging machines, Raslan added.

Aseptic packaging is used to protect food and beverages and ensure high quality of the packed food stuff combined with a long shelf life. As consumer demand grows for preservative-free ‘natural’ beverages, more products are aseptically packaged in cartons, pouches, cups or bottles.

Aseptic packaging utilises hydrogen peroxide or peracetic acid for the sterilisation of the packaging material (carton and PET) and machines and enables the introduction of gently bottled beverages without additional thermal stress or added preservatives. The focus is on slightly acidic to neutral pH food and beverage products with rising hygienic requirements, such as dairy products and juices.

As a leading active oxygens supplier, Evonik offers Oxteril hydrogen peroxide and Peraclean peracetic acid tailored for a variety of aseptic packaging processes and come recommended by leading machine manufacturers such as Tetra Pak, SIG and Krones, Raslan said.

Touching upon the different competitive advantages of Oxteril, Raslan said: “When we speak about aseptic packaging, the Oxteril product range brings European and international standards and tailors the products based on customer and regional needs. It also allows for continuous product innovation in close cooperation with our customers and leading aseptic machine manufactures and offers a broad range of services such as handling advice, on-site assistance, analytical services, storage and dosing units, inspections and safety trainings.”

Heat sealing: In the heat sealing segment, with its Degalan binders, Evonik offers a unique product portfolio of functional methacrylic co-polymers. These binders represent an excellent solution for heat sealing applications in the packaging industry. Degalan binders are the key component for high quality lacquers which are applied on lids of food and beverage packaging. The lids can be peeled of smoothly while the filling good is fully protected by a strong sealing. Typical applications are lids for water cups, dairy products such as yogurt or condiments like single serve jam.

Another benefit for the packaging industry is its universal sealability. Degalan binders seal against all common substrates like PS, PP, PVC, PET or PLA, and at the same time provide direct adhesion to aluminum or PET lidding materials. All Degalan binders comply with international regulations for incident food contact.

According to Kossanyi, Degalan VP 4250 E is one of the new products which was successfully tested and specified by several industry leaders. The high sealing strength of more than 10 N/15mm and the increased solid content of 45 per cent – compared to 43 per cent of its predecessor Degalan 4150 E – contribute to its success.

The most important factor reported by customers was a significant reduction of cleaning cycles and consequently longer production runs which resulted in more output and higher yield. This proven effect is achieved by a narrower molecular weight distribution of new olefin copolymers which significantly reduce the causing of rub-off deposits on rollers during printing or sealing. Other properties like sealability against all common substrates such as PP, PS, PVC, PET or PLA remain unchanged, Kossanyi said.

Degalan VP 4294 is another newly developed product which was recently launched in the heat sealing application area. It has direct adhesion to aluminum or PET as major lidding materials and seals to common substrates like PP, PS, PVC, PLA or PET. Applied in single step coating process, Degalan VP 4294 E does not require any adhesion promotor and therefore contributes to a faster production run.

“Customers also appreciate its enhanced sealing strength. At 180-degC temperature, a sealing strength of more than 12N/15mm can be achieved. Besides technical properties, Degalan VP 4294 E is also business wise rather attractive. A solid content of 52 per cent is by far the highest within the Degalan portfolio and is directly linked to an increased quantity of final lacquer,” Kossanyi said.

Degalan, he added, is very easy to apply saving formulators’ time and money that they many need to spend with other products. Moreover, the product line offers secure sealing of packaged goods while maintaining easy peeling which is particularly applicable to the manufacturing of water cups, quite a prevalent industry in the countries of the Gulf.

Food cans protection: For this area of application, Evonik invested in the expansion of production capacities for high molecular specialty co-polyesters at its Witten site in Germany. The high-molecular polyesters of the Dynapol brand serve as binders for coatings. In addition to coating large metal strips, they are increasingly used in interior coatings for cans with food contact as well as in flexible packaging.

Printing on food packaging: The industry is showing growing awareness about the environmental impact of printing inks in packaging end applications. Consequently, the demand for raw materials in accordance with distinct regulations and guidelines like FDA, China GB, Swiss Ordinance, BfR, Nestlé is increasing globally, said Dr Anna Maria Ickert, head global Marketing Inks, Evonik.

Therefore, Evonik offers a broad portfolio of additives designed for the use in packaging applications giving both required performance properties and compliance with a variety of industry standards and regulations.

Tego Wet 285 and 550 are specifically developed for printing on food packaging. Thanks to a new technology, both products have a very high molecular weight for substrate wetting additives, which results in a particularly low tendency to migrate. This prevents the substances from penetrating the packaging and reaching the food.  Because of its excellent substrate wetting properties, Tego Wet 550 enhances process reliability and achieves high-quality printing results. Both products are solvent-free and liquid, which translates into easy handling for formulators in production and in the laboratory, Dr Ickert explained.

On a global scale printing ink sales remained stable with slight growth, driven by a growing packaging sector and publication and commercial printing continuing to decline. On the technology side digital printing techniques are making their way into traditional printing inks sectors with very high growth rates but still limits overall shares. One of the growth driver is again the packaging sector while the plastics packaging sector is facing public awareness of environmental danger. Therefore, technology development and growth within the paper and board sector is one of industry’s focus sectors, she said.

As a multinational inks producers, Evonik sees a general trend towards global formulations to reduce complexity and increase flexibility within production. To balance this with increase customer demand for individualised products, modular inks production is fostered where possible. Also, inks additives supporting a broad variety of final end applications in different solvents and systems is highly requested.

Inks market shares in emerging countries appears to be small when compared with industrial or architectural coating markets or when compared with global shares. Nevertheless, growth rates show rapid development of emerging inks markets. Demand is driven by fast growing packaging sector which is dominated by transplant or import business of global and multinational inks producers, she con.

 

LOCALISATION

To make the products relevant for the Middle East market, Evonik said it has over the years spent time and effort to deeply understand the regional customer needs with the support of local technical knowledge accompanied by frequent visits of experts from Germany.

For the Oxteril product line, for instance, Evonik has an established network of distributors and a developed footprint of offices across the Middle East which brings necessary technical service closer to the customers. In addition, Evonik’s presence in the region started many decades ago allowing the German manufacturer to better understand the regional market.

For Degalan heat sealing application, the story is similar. The product line developed over the years deep understanding of the regional customer needs with the support of local technical knowledge accompanied by frequent visits of experts from Germany.

Moreover, the products are already adapted to the machines of the local formulators and come with a “strong regional supply chain support provided by the regional customer service hub in Dubai and established partnership with regional distributors. In a nutshell, Evonik ensures that all the necessary technical, logistical and administrative support is in place to provide customers with what they need in a timely manner,” Kossanyi said.




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